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Open Access (24)

2 August, 2019

Dear colleagues,

The following recent papers might be of interest for our discussion on open access.

Gasparyan AY, Yessirkepov M, Voronov AA, Koroleva AM, Kitas GD. Comprehensive Approach to Open Access Publishing: Platforms and Tools. J Korean Med Sci. 2019 Jul 15;34(27):e184. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2019.34.e184. Review. PubMed PMID: 31293109; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6624413. (Open Access) [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31293109]

The authors of this review suggest that the essential components of Open Access are: the quality open access journals, open peer review, free databases (to search for open access resources), preprint servers (open archives), institutional repositories, permanent archiving, article and contributor identifies, social media and networks.

'The global initiatives imply targeting journals satisfying the upgraded quality and visibility criteria. To meet these criteria, a comprehensive approach to Open Access is recommended. This article overviews the essential components of the comprehensive approach, increasing transparency, adherence to ethical standards, and diversification of evaluation metrics. With the increasing volume of quality open-access journals, their indexing with free databases and search engines is becoming increasingly important. The Directory of Open Access Journals and PubMed Central currently free searches of open-access sources. These services, however, cannot fully satisfy the increasing demands of the users, and attempts are underway to upgrade the indexing and archiving of open-access sources in China, Japan, Korea, Russia, and elsewhere. The wide use of identifiers is essential for transparency of scholarly communications. Peer reviewers are now offered credits from Publons. These credits are transferrable to their Open Researcher and Contributor iDs. Various social media channels are increasingly used by scholars to comment on articles. All these comments are tracked by related metric systems, such as Altmetrics. Combined with traditional citation evaluations, the alternative metrics can help timely identify and promote publications influencing education, research, and practice.'

I think it is a useful approach – so that we as authors, researchers, librarians, etc. can consider how we can contribute to these components.

From my own experience as an author of a paper published in a hybrid journal this year: it took me some time to find an appropriate repository for a preprint (as neither me nor my co-author belong to any organization with an institutional repository).

Another recent paper of interest:

Grossmann A, Brembs B. 2019. Assessing the size of the affordability problem in scholarly publishing. PeerJ Preprints 7:e27809v1


The aim of this paper: an attempt to provide an authoritative documentation of approximate current publishing costs as a valuable information tool for decision-makers and other stakeholders in policy drafting, contract negotiations or public discourse. The authors distinguish three main areas in which production steps have to be considered: content acquisition, content preparation (production) and content dissemination/archiving. Importantly, ‘content acquisition’ does not imply active acquisition of authors and/or manuscripts.

From the abstract: 'also the prices for open access publishing are high and are rising well beyond inflation. What has been missing from the public discussion so far is a quantitative approach to determine the actual costs of efficiently publishing a scholarly article using state-of-the-art technologies, such that informed decisions can be made as to appropriate price levels. Here we provide a granular, step-by-step calculation of the costs associated with publishing primary research articles, from submission, through peer-review, to publication, indexing and archiving. We find that these costs range from less than US$200 per article in modern, large scale publishing platforms using post-publication peer-review, to about US$1,000 per article in prestigious journals with rejection rates exceeding 90%. The publication costs for a representative scholarly article today come to lie at around US$400. We discuss the additional non-publication items that make up the difference between publication costs and final price.'

Interesting statistics from this paper: 'While most OA journals do not charge APCs (or other author-facing fees, such as submission fees) and instead finance their services via alternative routes (71% of journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals, DOAJ), most OA articles are being published in the minority of journals which do charge APCs (58%, Crawford 2019)'.


Irina Ibraghimova,PhD

Library and Information Management Consultant.

Regional Editor (Europe), International Journal of Health Governance


HIFA profile: Irina Ibraghimova is a medical librarian, based in Croatia, and works with health care professionals in the countries of the Former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, and Africa. Her interests include evidence-based practice (both in health care and in library/informatics field). www.lrcnetwork.org www.healthconnect-intl.org

ibra AT zadar.net